Three of the largest newspapers in the United States, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal sent President Joe Biden a joint statement requesting help for their workers and contributors in Afghanistan “trapped in Kabul while their lives are in danger” to be transferred out of the country along with their families.
“For the past twenty years, brave Afghan colleagues have worked tirelessly to help The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal share news and information from the region with the global public,” the letter reads.
The media requested in the letter the support of the Biden administration as “signal that the government will stand behind the free press,” and also asked for “facilitated and protected access to the US-controlled airport” in Kabul for the employees, as well as “safe passage through a protected access gate to the airport” and “facilitated air movement out of the country.”
“As employers, we are looking for support for our colleagues and as journalists we’re looking for an unequivocal signal that the government will stand behind the free press. In that light, we ask the American government to move urgently and take three concrete steps necessary to protect their safety,” the text concludes.
The statement is signed by Frederick J. Ryan Jr, publisher and CEO of the Washington Post; Almar Latour, CEO of Dow Jones & Co and publisher of The Wall Street Journal; and A.G. Sulzberger, chairman and publisher of The New York Times.
UNHCR calls not to deport citizens to Afghanistan
A group of European countries agreed to temporarily halt all deportations of Afghans whose asylum applications had been denied, confirmed on Tuesday the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which called for a halt to such refoulements.
The international organization was relieved and satisfied with the decision taken in this sense by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway.
UNHCR’s call to halt the deportations was based on the increased insecurity caused by the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the threat this poses to the human rights of the population.
“As the situation remains fluid and uncertain, UNHCR continues to call for access to territory to allow civilians fleeing Afghanistan and to ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times – the prohibition on returning people to situations of danger,” a statement said.
According to the agency, since the beginning of this year more than 550,000 Afghans have been forcibly displaced because of the conflict and insecurity in their country.